I still have so much to learn about our DSLR. I am such a noob when it comes to artsy fartsy photography, but I am out there wandering around trying to learn.

Graveyards fascinate me outside of photography, especially really old ones. They’re also a little more difficult to shoot on cloudy days because all of my shots came out murky and just blah.

On my lunch break last week, I wandered down to the Maple Grove graveyard in Putney and took a few shots. Most of the graves seem to have been erected in the mid-to late 1880s, making me think that since the town was actually chartered in 1753, this isn’t Putney’s original graveyard.


The genealogy geek in me ran back to the computer and looked up Wm. R. Underwood in the Civil War database. Sad story. Poor guy was 25 when he joined the 11th Vermont Infantry, Company A out of Brattleboro in 1862. These soldiers headed off to Fort Lincoln, right outside of the capitol, to hold off southern attacks on Washington. Officially, the 11th Infantry served at Fort Lincoln from September to November of 1862. Unfortunately for our Pvt. Underwood, he died on his 26th birthday at Fort Lincoln of typhoid fever.

cwar treeA Civil War memorial. A friend, who happened to serve as the Graveyard Commissioner of Putney years ago, said the stricken, cut-down tree used to hold the memorial is no coincidence. The tree, a sign of vitality, is stricken down during its prime–much like the young men memorialized.

arch graveyard

So many of the graves are tipped, chipped and broken. This arch-ish grave, however, looks like it has centuries to go before it’s brought down. Interesting design for a headstone, isn’t it?

murphy grave

Family headstone from Irish immigrants. Look at the death dates of the parents, Nancy and Michael…(and try not to notice their son died at 5 years old in 1865 *sob*). Do you notice they’ve been dead for more than 100 years now…but the stone is relatively modern and sturdy? My friend said its rare that stones get updated, so someone really cares about the Murphy legacy.


My husband is actually the one who cured me of my jitters in graveyards. A paranormal enthusiast who has hung out in some super creepy places in the name of exploration, he told me graveyards are probably the last place a spirit would haunt. And it’s hallowed ground. So, yeah. I’m totally not freaked out by hanging out taking pictures in a cemetery. In broad daylight. Twenty feet from the road. Constantly glancing around me just in case…

Okay, I’m lying. They still sort of spook me a little, but I think the stories I find are more than worth the adrenaline rush!